By Rachael Lee, Christianity Daily.
A conference for second generation Korean American pastors sponsored by the Presbyterian Church (USA)’s Racial and Ethnic Ministries Department started off on May 9, and will conclude on Thursday around noon (EST). The conference took place in Orlando, Florida.
Themed, “One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism, and One Church,” this year’s conference is the first that was spearheaded and organized by Korean American pastors rather than first generation Korean leaders. Previously, the gatherings had mostly been led by leaders from the National Council of Korean Presbyterian Churches (NCKPC) within the PCUSA.
“We don’t want anyone to feel isolated or alone as they struggle through certain challenges,” said David Kim, the lead pastor of Harvest, the English congregation of Korean Presbyterian Church of Orlando (KPCO). “We chose the theme just to remind ourselves that we are fighting together and laboring together for the sake of the gospel and for the world.”
Much of the conference was spent discussing the inter-generational dynamic of the Korean immigrant church, but much on the other aspects of simply being a pastor — such as self-care, spiritual formation, and pastoral ministry — was also discussed.
First generation Korean pastors including James Kwon, the senior pastor of Community Church of Seattle; Paul Kim, the senior pastor of Open Door Presbyterian Church in Herndon; and Inki Kim, the senior pastor of Vision Church (the Korean congregation of KPCO), were featured as ‘mentor’ guests during the conference and as panelists during the second day.
These pastors shared their advice regarding enduring hardship, immigrant church ministry, the importance of relationship, and balancing work and rest, among others. They also shared their thoughts on what they envision the future of the Korean American pastors to be.
“The multi-ethnic church is part of what you will have to do,” shared Paul Kim. “Because the Korean immigrant [population] — it’s not going to increase; if anything, it will decrease.”